The belfry

Pages in this section: Inside the Church | Baptistry | Belfry | Chancel | Nave | North Aisle | Sanctuary | South Aisle | South Porch | Vestry | West Porch

The belfry (bell tower) is above the Baptistry, housed in the lowest part of the tower, below the spire. 

Bell ropesA stone spiral staircase of thirty one steps leads from the far right corner of the baptistry up to the lower part of the belfry where the bell-pulling ropes and the clock mechanism are housed.

From here there is a wooden ladder leading to the clock chamber in the upper part of the belfry where the Clock and Bells are housed. From the clock chamber further wooden ladders lead to a wooden landing or viewing platform from which it is possible look out of window openings in all six faces of the spire.

The four clock faces show on the outside of the tower, one on each side. The windows in the tower do not have glass, but openings or louvres in the stonework so that the sound of the bells can travel. 

Church bells are rung either to tell the hour or the time for worshippers to go to church, perhaps to attend a wedding, funeral, or other service. The ropes that ring the bells are pulled towards the ringer from the board (shown right). To find out about ringing the bells look at the page Bellringing. Occasionally the bells are rung for celebrations.

Find out more

The Clock and Bells
The History of St James's Church Buildings

Clappers Bells Belfry